An experimental study on the relation between input variables and output quality of a new concrete recycling process

S. Lotfi, Peter Rem, Jan Deja, Radosław Mróz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Enormous amount of Construction and Demolition Waste (CDW) are yearly generated in Europe and the predominant material constituent is concrete. Despite the urgency of creating a sustainable solution for End Of Life (EOL) concrete waste treatment, there has not been a large driving force for recycling it into prime grade materials. The C2CA concrete recycling process aims at a cost effective system approach to recycle EOL concrete to hardened cement and clean aggregates. This recycling process consists of a combination of smart demolition, gentle grinding of the crushed concrete in an autogenous mill, and a novel dry classification technology called Advanced Dry Recovery (ADR) to remove the fines. The main factors in the C2CA process which may influence the properties of Recycled Aggregates (RA) or Recycled Aggregate Concrete (RAC) include the type of Parent Concrete (PC), the intensity of autogenous milling (changing the amount of shear and compression inside of a mill) and the ADR cut-size point (usage of +2 mm or +4 mm RA in the new concrete). This study aims to investigate the influence of implied factors on the quality of the RA and RAC. To conduct the study, first of all, three types of concrete which are mostly demanded in the Dutch market were cast as PC and their fresh and hardened properties were tested. After nearly one year curing, PC samples were recycled independently varying the type of PC and intensity of the autogenous milling. Experimental variables resulted in the production of eight types of RA. The physical, mechanical and durability properties of the produced RA were tested and the effect of the experimental variables on their properties were investigated. According to the results, the type of PC is a prevailing parameter for the final properties of RA, in comparison with the milling intensity. Moreover, it is observed that a variation in the milling intensity mostly influences the properties of RA produced from a lower strength PC. Furthermore, the performance of the RA in the new concrete was studied. Four types of RAC were produced based on the modified recipe of their corresponding PCs. For the modification of the recipes, water absorption and density of RA were taken into account while the amount of applied cement and consistency class was kept similar to the corresponding PC. Experimental results show that the RAC samples compare favourably with PC. Among various autogenous milling intensities, milling at medium shear and compression delivers better properties for RA and RAC. Good performance of RAC with the incorporation of 2–4 mm ADR fines and RA, confirms the possibility of setting ADR cut-size point on 2 mm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-140
Number of pages13
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2017


  • Concrete recycling
  • Innovative technology
  • Prefab concrete
  • Recycled aggregate


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